1. A Proven Sales Script Format To Set Sales Appointments.
2. The Pro and Con of This Phone Script Format.
3. Three Reasons why a “Good Phone Script” Won’t Save You
1. A PROVEN SALES SCRIPT TO SET SALES APPOINTMENTS
At the risk of simplifying, let me share with you a structure for a b2b appointment setting script which has proven successful at obtaining sales appointments with hard to reach decision makers in a variety of industries. If your calls aren’t working this script sample will enable you to communicate a successful sales message. Your prospect will know why you are worth their time.
B2B Cold Call Scripts Sell
Set Qualified Meetings At Top
What to say to meet more active buyers and clone your best accounts.
Don’t let rivals win due to words not said.
Talk to buyers on verge of new vendor choice.
Contact For Options
Before I share this phone script with you, let me warn you that there is much that is done prior to this phone call, to maximize your chance of crafting successful sales scripts that maximize results on the the phone. Selecting your target, organizing yourself for efficiency and effectiveness, all are important if your prospecting program is to have a chance of cost-effective and consistent b2b lead generation. They are not dealt with here.
A Sample Telephone Script for Setting Sales Appointments:
“This is Scott Channell from breakaway growth strategies. We help companies to implement sales strategies that generate leads, set more sales appointments and increase return on money invested to produce new accounts. I don’t know where you are at with your sales process, but if you are looking for some new ideas, I would like the opportunity to introduce myself and tell you about some programs that have worked for other companies. Down the road, if you hear something you like, we hope you think of us. Would you have any time in the next week or two?”
Analysis of the Phone Script:
” This is Scott Channell from Breakaway Growth Strategies.”
Get to the point. Communicate what they will benefit from. Don’t waste valuable time asking them how they are (who cares?), or whether this is a convenient time to speak to you for a moment (why should a prospect on the phone give even a minute of their time if your message provides no clue how you might help them?)
“We help companies to implement sales strategies that generate leads, set more sales appointments and increase return on money invested to produce new accounts.”
To Immediately slay them with benefits should be one of your core sales scripting techniques. They will not talk to you or agree to give you 45 to 60 minutes of their time if you do not let the prospect know clearly and concisely what benefits may accrue to them. Your sales script should tell them immediately. Your target decides within the first 3 to 5 seconds whether they want to listen to you a bit longer. Give them reasons to listen to your full pitch with your telephone scripts. Tell them what you do. Then your call script should relate three specific benefits (not one or two) you deliver they may want.
“I don’t know where you are at with your sales process, but if you are looking for some new ideas I would like the opportunity to introduce myself and describe some programs that have worked for other companies.”
Your sales calls will get more appointments when you use telephone scripts that state the obvious? You don’t know, so admit it. They rarely hear that from a sales person. Be different. New ideas? Who isn’t interested in them if they are from a credible source? “Introduce myself” is a low-pressure yet powerful technique to ask for a sales appointment. It is a bit softer script structure than telling someone you want to meet to try to sell them something.
“Describe some programs that have worked for others.”
Now we are giving them some information that may be valuable to them. Successful sales scripts do this with clarity and repeatedly. Particularly with a cold call sales script, communicate value without hesitation. Don’t make your prospect guess or assume your prospect knows certain things. These ideas have worked for others, so maybe they will work for me.
“Down the road, if you hear something you like, we hope you might think of us.”
Use this technique to take away the pressure. Successful b2b appointment setting sales scripts don’t force anything, but sales scripts that work do give people clear choices. People are afraid you are going to attempt to sell them. Tell them up front that you will be thrilled if “down the road” they think of you. Remember, you are trying to get a face-to-face meeting. Be good at getting meetings and you have a chance to sell. Start your sales pitch too too early and you’ll never get a chance to meet.
“Would you have any time in the next week or two?”
Tell them specifically what it is you want from them. Sales scripts that work are chock full of specifics and concise. Ask questions clearly. Do they have any time in the next week or two? They can say “yes”, “no” or talk to you about it, your phone script makes it absolutely clear what you want from them. If there is doubt in their mind as to what you want them to do, they will be confused and the answer will always be “no”.
Do not ask them if it is more convenient to meet “next Tuesday at 10:00 or Wednesday at 2:00?. The appointment setting script gods will come down and slap you. This tactic is one of the most overly used. You immediately allow yourself to be lumped in with all those other uneducated salespeople who have preceded you, using poorly structured telephone scripts that wasted your prospect’s time with immediately obvious manipulative sales techniques. Prospect’s flee from such salespeople using poor sales scripts templates. Don’t let it be you.
Notice that this sales script takes only 30 seconds to deliver. If your sales script takes longer than 30 seconds to get to the punch line, it is doomed to fail. After 30 seconds minds start to wander. People think 10 times faster than they can listen. Talk too long and they think of reasons why you aren’t worth their time.
This sales script example can be modified to fit your specific circumstances, but the core sales script template has proven effective for me again and again, in a variety of service and product industries.
2. PRO AND CON OF SALES SCRIPT EXAMPLE ABOVE.
The phone script format relayed above has proven successful and been used to generate tens of thousands of b2b sales appointments in a variety of industries. However, there are dangers to using this sales script template that you should be aware of.
First, let’s state the obvious. The purpose of using telephone scripts to set sales appointments is not to just set meetings. The purpose is to ultimately generate more revenue and profits cost-effectively. Some people forget this and think that all they have to do is generate sales appointments and they are on easy street. Nothing could be farther from the truth.Are your salespeople closing? Too few qualified appointments or meetings set with low-probability low-value suspects will have your salespeople closing bad deals. Good sales managers (you may be managing yourself) don’t let a sales team call crap.
Prospecting effectively and setting the appointment is only one step of an overall effective sales process and b2b lead generation program. The sales script example above is very soft. Meaning that there is very little disqualification going on with the phone script. If you are not very careful about which companies you choose to call, you could lose your shirt with such a sales script. You could spend a lot of time and money meeting with prospects who won’t buy or would be unprofitable to sell.
If you use telephone scripts like this you may (or may not) choose to ask some qualifying questions to screen out the no profit time wasters. Or, you may choose to use a harder phone script more calculated to connect you only with prospects likely to buy in the near future.
The sales script format and qualifying questions appropriate to best meet your sales, revenue and profit goals are determined after considering your revenue goals, gross margins, cost of inquiry, cost of sale and the length of your sales cycle.
3. THREE REASONS WHY A “GOOD APPOINTMENT SETTING SCRIPT” WON’T SAVE YOUR B2B LEAD GENERATION BUTT
(The following is a brief excerpt from “7 Steps to Sales Scripts for B2B Appointment Setting” by Scott Channell. Available on Amazon.)
Those who believe there are “magic telephone scripts” floating about which, if captured and repeated, could turn on a faucet of sales appointments and qualified opportunities that would result in untold sales commissions and new accounts — are walking among the clueless… with a stack of phone scripts that are not making the difference.
First, sales scripts are important, yes. But good cold calling sales scripts that work are NEVER the only reason sales prospecting is successful. You must work a total process to be consistently successful at sales prospecting. Your appointment setting sales scripts are at maximum 25% – 30% of that process. Without the rest of the process, your telephone scripts are worth nothing.
“Good sales scripts” only help you if you are talking to enough of the “right people” at the right time. It is your overall process that will consistently deliver up those interactions.
What good is it to have successful sales scripts if you are not talking to anybody worthwhile?
In that common circumstance your “successful sales scripts” won’t work. Good sales scripts don’t work if you are talking to rocks.
Own What You Say with your Phone Scripts
Second, phone scripts that sell are specific to you and they emerge from a sales script creation process which enables you to truly own what you say.
Your personal experience.
Your competitive environment.
Your business priorities.
Your points of competitive advantage.
Example: I do a lot of work for some major franchise companies. Franchisee to franchisee there can be variations in the setting sales appointment scripts that work. Those variations typically emphasize strengths, experiences and business priorities of the individual master franchisee. Not all the successful sales scripts are exactly the same.
Example: Among companies that have many top producers, the consistently successful phone scripts that work are not exactly alike. The successful sales scripts tend to have similar components and structures, but they are not exactly alike with every salesperson. Again, there is room for phone script variations based upon individual strengths and business objectives.
So, appointment setting sales scripts that work are specific to you.
They are also the result of a phone script creation process that enables the caller, the salesperson, to own the words of the sales script. You must own the words to deliver your phone script with confidence and conviction.
To own the words you must have either gone through the sales script creation process outlined in this primer, or you must understand the component parts of successful sales scripts, the word choices within those component parts and the structure of a winning phone script to understand why a winning sales script works.
You need a few “ah ha” moments during the phone script creation process as to:
-Component parts of a sales script that sells.
-Your word and phrase choices within each component part of sales script templates.
-The structure of a good sales script.
If you try to write a phone script and don’t grasp the above, your sales script will be weak. If you try to deliver a telephone script and don’t grasp the above, you won’t own the sales script. You won’t deliver it with confidence, you won’t have a sales script that works and you will constantly try to deviate from it.
Adapt. Evolve. Rewrite your Appointment Setting Scripts
Third, sales scripts evolve.
Even when you follow this process to create a solid initial phone script, it will change. It is normal and expected for a telephone script that works to be massaged and modified about 6 times before you determine you have it right.
That’s right. Expect to modify your sales script 6 times before it reaches final form.
Now let’s get into the actual preparation steps of writing “good sales scripts” that sell the typical first step (a meeting face-to-face, by phone, or attendance at a webinar or event) in many sales processes.
But first a few caveats…
There is a difference between a high-level and lower-level sales script environments.
When I refer to phone scripts having some degree of flexibility I am referring much more to a high-level sales environment than I am a lower-level sales environment.
A high-level sales environment is typically higher investment, more risk, multiple steps, has multiple decision makers and a long sales cycle. A lower-level sales environment is typically more activity oriented. Stack ‘em high, make ‘em fly. Buy now. Next! Usually a smaller investment, less at stake, one decision maker, short cycle type sale.
Lower-level high volume sales environments tend to be utilize more tightly structured phone scripts, and they should be. What works tends to be proven over time by tracking and statistics. Plus, the skill sets of callers don’t typically allow for flexibility with sales scripts templates.
In a lower-level environment, stick to the phone script.
Even in high-level environments, you have less flexibility up front crafting your successful sales script template.
It makes sense that in high-level environments, where there are more variables and nuances, that there should be more flexibility in sales scripts.
True, but there is less flexibility in the front of the sales script path than there is in the middle or toward the end of the phone script path.
What do I mean?
Let’s take a 30 second sales script calculated to set an appointment. That will usually be about a 2 1/2 to 3 minute conversation. The deeper into that conversation you go the more flexibility you have for massaging and variation.
But the first 30 seconds. Sorry. Even in high-level sales environments you have virtually no room for adjustments in the phone script.
Sales Scripts are just preparation.
Frankly, I don’t understand people who refuse to write down and then use telephone sales scripts.
It is incomprehensible to me that people would march into a sales environment where failure is the norm, where seconds count, where every word matters… and not be prepared.
That is what writing sales scripts is all about. Preparation. You identify repetitive scenarios, anticipate common responses, brainstorm all your possible word choices and select the words for your sales script most likely to achieve your business objective.
Preparation. So that when you hear “hello?” you drastically increase the odds of achieving your business objective.
Few are so smart, or so personable….
Sorry, but those of you who refuse to write down the words most calculated to achieve your business objectives in repetitive situations, who resist writing down the best words to use into a phone script, because you don’t want to sound “scripted.” You are letting a lot of money slip through your dialing fingers.
“Sounding scripted” and using phone scripts are 2 totally different things. One has nothing to do with the other.
Do you really think that you are so witty, your personality so enchanting, your Hal 9000 intellect so superior that you can process each situation second by second and magically pull out of the air just the right things to say that accomplish your business objective? Without writing anything down?
Are you out of your mind? If you really had the ability to magically anticipate the behavior of each individual who picked up the phone you wouldn’t be prospecting. You wouldn’t be working never mind using sales scripts.
It is much more likely that your naturally inspired verbiage waters down your value proposition and meanders like smoke to the ceiling. You choose words with less impact and squander time. Good thing you didn’t think and prepare by writing a phone script.
Sales prospecting on the phone and using sales scripts does not have to turn you into a robot.
There is room for flexibility.
Top producers will vary their script approach when selling.
Among high producing sales teams there will be variations in sales scripts.
But… but… but…
The similarities among all of those winning sales scripts are many.
It is not the differences that make those sales scripts work. It is the similarities.
Whether you are setting an appointment, qualifying an opportunity, generating a lead, closing a sale, or building attendance to an event…
…there are reasons why good sales scripts tend to work and lousy phone scripts predict a macaroni and cheese diet.
Smile when you dial,